tv MSNBC Live With Craig Melvin MSNBC November 29, 2016 7:00am-8:01am PST
six people did survive that crash. we'll get the those stories in a in a moment but let's start in tennessee. right now, a mass exodus is under way in eastern tennessee. that's where fire crews are battling more than a dozen wildfires, burning through the great smokey mountains. more than a thousand people fled the area overnight as several cities including the very popular tourist town of gatlanburg under major evacuation orders. 100 homes and businesses wuburn so far including a 16 story hotel. strong winds maacing matters worse. fueling the flames, knocking down power lines, igniting new fires as well. brandon bates from our nbc affiliate there, wbir, has more from the scene. >> going, itoh my god, it's so . >> reporter: desperate attempts
to escape of gatlanburg, tennessee. smoke choked roads, fleeing intense flames, looking and spreading like molten lava. residents thankful to make it out of their homes alive. >> they let me go back to get my animals out, to get them safely. we're all safe now and my son. so we're fine. >> reporter: terrified guests trapped inside, the fire too close and too dangerous for them to leave. these pictures taken by an employee of the hotel showing the fire burning right outside. local officials say 30 structures devoured by the flames including an apartment complex. more than 500 acres burning in the small town several roads through great smokey mountains national park have been closed. officials say 70-mile-an-hour wind gusts fueled the out of control fires near several popular tourist destinations including dollywood, the area's
largest theme park. just days ago, country music legend releasing this public service announcement. >> please help firefighters avoid wildfires. >> reporter: parton asking to help protect the great smokey mountains by observing burn banninbans and reporting fires whenever they see them. so far, no structures inside the theme park have been damaged, but staff and dozens of guests were evacuated as a precaution. national park employees were evacuated from the area too. >> i've been federal service for 25 years and nothing that we've experienced has prepared us for what we experienced here in the last 24 hours. it's been just an unbelievable. >> all right, again, that was from our affiliate down there in tennessee. joined now on the phone, david ware, pigeon forge, where dollywood is located. mayor ware, what's the condition
on the ground? >> we appreciate the opportunity to spread the word to your viewers. we got hopeful that some rain slowed some things. started in the chimneys in the national park and due to the extreme dry conditions and the wind gust we had, which some topped over 70 miles per hour, it spread to pigeon forge. it's smokey out but property damage has been limited to non-structures here in the city of pigeon forge. we did have an evacuation in towns where it's residential areas. fight a couple of fires to make sure they're contained but today when the sun came out, we had crews to get their eyes on the site and see what kind of damage we're dealing with. >> i know you're north of gatlinburg, mayor, but there had
been some reports that there had been a number of those wildly popular tourist destinations in gatlinburg, those ski resorts, a number of them had been destroyed, burned to the ground. are you aware of any of those reports or are you aware if that's true or not? >> yes. i really don't want to speak for gatlinburg. they've got their own press. but i do know over gatlinburg, the ski resort is in tact and ripley's emporium is in tact and pigeon forge, dollywood is protected. there's very little damage there at dollywood. they'll probably release their own information soon about plans to reopen and trying to condition takcontain the fires and keep pop-up fires from happening. we expect more wind today which is not good for us. the fire spread so fast, it
originally burnt a certain layer of the underbrush. we make sure those things don't start more fires. >> at this point, everyone okay there? >> i'm sure there are some injuries. i haven't gotten any official reports of injuries in the city of pigeon forge, but like i said, last night was a reactionary. it spread so fast because of the wind and the conditions, it was a reactionary deployment for the fire department and over 15 other agencies around the area that helped us. now, we can take time to get out and get our eyes on the sites and see what damage we're dealing with. so we expect some news to come soon. the deployed teams start to report back. >> mayor david ware of pigeon forge, tennessee. as these wildfires close in, hundreds if not thousands of folks getting out. our thoughts and prayers with those folks who are getting out. our thoughts and prayers with the firefighters as well who are
doing what they do. nbc meteorologist bill karins joins me now. bill, in a lot of ways, this would seem like the perfect storm. these heavy winds, a drought down south like we haven't seen in these parts in some time as well. >> exactly. we deal with the west for so many years and this moved into the south. we had a lot of fires over the last month. this is the fire map as of yesterday here in the mountains of north carolina and a couple in tennessee. what happened is the chimney fire, winds up to 50 or 70 miles per hour. the embers went down towards the gatlinburg area and a lot of leaf fallen. a ton of underbrush burned and took off. if you hear the reports from the residents in the shelter, got a knock on the door, didn't realize the fire was coming over the hill. they ran out, got in their cars, literally took themselves, maybe their pets and that was i have the. so many people, hundreds of homes lost. they have nothing.
they literally just saved their own lives which obviously we're thankful for that but now waking up to the reality that they don't have their bedrooms or homes. hundreds of structures burned meaning a tennessee emergency management reported that three resorts around gatlinburg had been destroyed, but now we've gotten video in from the uber gatlinburg. the ski area resort and spa. they put up video saying they're fine. we now know that resort is fine but west gate smokey mountain, that's completely gone and black bear falls, a log home community, all rentals. that is completely gone too. this is a tourist town. about 14,000 people who live there. all asked to evacuate and all gone. there's a reason we are not showing aerial pictures is because there's flight restrictions. they don't want interference from the immediate why. we don media. when we get the pictures in, you can imagine what it will look
like and the rain we got a half inch, barely denlt lly dented t. >> how can it be? >> it was so dry that just a half inch, you know, these fires get so hot that they evaporate a lot of water. a temperature gauge read 118 degrees in downtown gatlinburg with the peak of the fire. you can imagine a half inch of rain, dump on the fireplace at your house. it doesn't do much. they'll get another dose, hopefully that will be heavier. >> bill karins keeping a close eye on what's happening down in tennessee. we'll check back in with you, of course, a little bit later. thank you, bill. >> new developments now at ohio state where classes have resumed this morning a day after a somali born student used his car and a butcher knife as weapons, wounding 11 before police managed to shoot and kill him. this morning, we are learning hr about that attacker.
18-year-old adul left behind quite the rant on facebook. and not ruling out terrorism. police are also looking at this campus surveillance footage. this is the suspect driving a relative's car, police say. moments later, they say he jumps a curb and crashes into unsuspecting faculty and students when police say he got out of his car with the butcher knife and attacked. let's get to osu's campus. kevin tibbles. we understand there are still some more in the hospital? >> reporter: well, the good news this morning, craig, is that all but four of those who were injured in this attack yesterday which just happened over my shoulder here in the engineering wing of the osu campus, all but four have been released from the hospital. the four that remain in the hospital, none are suffering from life-threatening injuries
according to the authorities here. you just mentioned the young man who is a suspect in this case. he came here apparently with his family from somalia as refugees. they say he's been a student here at osu coming here after attending another college nearby. in terms of motive, that everyone is now discussing, well, of course, the authorities are looking at that facebook rant that people stumbled across yesterday but at this point in time, the fbi is now on the scene. they are obviously going through the last known whereabouts, last known residents of this young man trying to come up with further clues to what could have led him to commit this act yesterday. interestingly enough, there was a fire alarm, some sort of alarm was pulled at the school before this young man showed up in the honda and jumped on the curb and smashed into people leaving that building because of the fire alarm. so it was sort of a perfect storm, perfect situation that a
campus cop was in the vicinity when this happened. the authorities here say it all transpired within a couple of minutes, about 2 minutes from the time this young man mounted the curb, hit people, left his car with the butcher knife and then was shot dead by campus police. craig? >> kevin tibbles on the campus of ohio state university this morning. let's bring in nbc terrorism analyst malcom nance now. at this point, again, officials being very careful to say they do not have a clear cut motive but we do have this facebook post where he says that attacks on muslims around the world, quote, led to a boiling point and that he can't take it anymore. what do authorities do with this? >> the fbi is going to be the lead agency on the analysis and the information hunt related to what motivated this individual
to do this. now, within the realm of terrorism, they haven't come out and actually stated it but all of the facets of this attack have the hallmarks of a self-radicalized individual who for some reason, not a strange reason but for some reason had decided it was time to take on all the readings he had been getting on the internet from anwar al-awlaki and the exhortations from al qaeda and isis to do your own attack and he carried out an attack that was a small version of what we saw in nice last year and what you see in israel about 50 times, that's using a vehicle as a weapons system and then after he rams the people on the sidewalk, gets out and carries out this individual weapons attack with a butcher knife. w the fbi will see if he's externally linked or self-inspired. >> he was born in somalia. lived in pakistan for seven
years before moving to this country and sounds like part of a story that unfortunately we've heard time and time in this country as well. many situations like this, we want to know, what did we miss? were there signs? is this something that could have been prevented? what else will investigators look for in regard to those things? >> it's interesting. in the previous report, you mentioned that someone pulled a fire alarm. and whether it was just coincidence and coincidence takes a lot of planning but that would have masked a lot of people out on the sidewalk so the fbi is probably running this down quickly today to determine, was there a co-conspirator, did he stop and try to get someone out there? there's an entire myriad of information they'll be looking at. is he connected to an external group? are there people in the united states who may be aiding or assisting this? >> why knife and not a gun? it would seem if someone is hell
bent on ruining as many lives as possible, it would be far easier to do that with a gun instead of a knife. >> well, if the individual understands that, you know, bringing yourself to buying a weapon, purchasing a weapon requires a lot of documentation, even if you're going to do a suicide type weapons attack, granted, some you can buy or rent on the street amongst gangs but for the most part, a knife is a weapon at hand. it's an improvised weapon. you can take it and carry out that effect. also, in a lot of these radical extremist groups, they prefer the manual weapon to show your depth of commitment and you see a lot of people who carried out beheadings and other mass weapons attacks we saw an incident like this in england where they beheaded a soldier on the street and stood there waiting to be shot. that's a component of what we call the suicide weapons attacks. it's quite possible he took that
to heart. >> malcolm nance, thank you for your insight sir. always appreciate that. >> my pleasure. a plane carrying a brazilian soccer team goes down in columbia killing more than 70 people. remarkably, five people managed to survive. what went wrong? what are those survivors telling investigators about the crash? also, president-elect donald trump announcing his coast to coast thank you tour. ♪ ♪ is it a force of nature? or a sales event? the season of audi sales event is here. audi will cover your first month's lease payment on select models during the season of audi sales event. (bing)
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heavy rain. tom costello. what do we know about what happened? >> reporter: look at the hillside. it's dense foliage. almost looks like a jungle approach. it's remarkable anybody survived but that's the scene this morning with daybreak. just the twisted broken remains of the british aerospace 146 that went down on approach and it was carrying this brazilian soccer team that had been living a dream. the soccer season. they're talking about the possibility that the plane may have run out of fuel or that it had been experiencing some sort of an electrical problem just before it crashed. the mayor of meade calling this a tragedy of huge proportions. and seven people initially survived. one of the seven, however, died. among the 81 people on board this top brazilian soccer team,
they were on their way to columbia for the soccer match and we believe two of the soccer players survived, but one of them apparently has passed away. that leaves now six survivors from this terrible crash there. because of the rains at the time, the only way relieve was to drive a four by four. and the pilot told the control tower the pilot had an electrical problem. we know no more than that. but the team posted a video on facebook just before the crash, before leaving. talking about how excited they were to be going into this final match for this final leg of this
important competition in south american soccer but all play suspended as they try to find more victims on the crash site. >> tom costello for us on that devastating plane crash there in south america. tom, thank you. >> all right. back here, donald trump's cabinet continues to take form with news of the president-elect's pick for health and human services secretary, but still up in the air, who will be trump's secretary of state? a look at what's playing out behind the scenes there. also, more on that victory tour. [burke] at farmers, we've seen almost everything,
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they are the natural borns enemy of the way things are. yes, ideas are scary, and messy and fragile. but under the proper care, they become something beautiful. the transition team announcing that tom price will lead the department of health and human services. that georgia congressman, one of the loudest critics of the health care law, also the author of a nearly 300 page bill on a potential replacement. also today, the secretary of
state saga continues at trump tower. mitt romney meeting again with the president-elect for what appears to be a second round interview. john bolton, bob corker, rudy giuliani, general petraeus, all of them still holding out hope that it will be them. nbc's hallie jackson covering all of it for us joining us live from trump tower. let's get this transition stuff in a moment. i understand you've got some new reporting on a so-called thank you tour. >> reporter: yeah, and we've been reporting on the transition in the cabinet appointments, craig. lcome back, by the way, and let's start with the thank you tour or the victory lap. donald trump back on the road this week kicking it off with the first rally thursday night in cincinnati. so this is very sort of campaign-ish feeling, right? you've heard the president-elect's transition team about wanting to get on the road to so thank you in the key states like ohio, presumably like michigan, wisconsin, and
others who helped put donald trump over the edge. that's beginning this week and packing our bags to get out on the road with donald trump. it's an unusual move but one that seems to fit with the president-elect's appreciation and frankly his desire to be in front of big crowds like this. we saw that for the last 18 months and continue to see that during this part of the transition. >> you mentioned new reporting on the transition team as well. transportation? >> reporter: nailed it. yep. we expect later today according to members of the president-elect's transition team to learn who his transportation secretary will be. this comes after a flurry of activity here. we've got transportation today. we heard about health and human services. we talked about that news last night. we officially got confirmation of this this morning after we broke it last night and we see a lot of folks in the mix for secretary of state including mitt romney who will be here later tonight in new york for kind of a second round of
interview, senator bob corker and other sources we speak with. >> i don't know if you know the answer but certainly not going to stop me from asking it. mitt romney, a guy who by most accounts was a reasonably successful governor. republican presidential nominee worth a wheelbarrow load of money. why does he want to be secretary of state? for donald trump. a guy that he called a phony. >> reporter: right. so the questions of romney's leadership of the never trump movement aside and some of the things he's said about donald trump, i think, overall, craig, the answer to your question would be when the commander in chief asks you to serve, the vast majority of officials who dedicated their life to public service would probably have difficulty saying no. and if there is a potential, for example, if mitt romney sees potential to do good and to serve his country as secretary of state and is asked to do so, i think that's why he would potentially or could potentially lean towards the job if offered.
obviously, it's a question mark, especially considering we don't know who's been given the position or in the leading positions for that position but we do know romney and rudy giuliani are right there at the top. >> hallie jackson outside of the trump tower for us on what a appears to be quite the dreary morning. thank you. >> thanks, buddy. jury selection under way in the trial of the man charged in last year's charleston church shooting. the judge ruling yesterday that the suspect dylan roof will be allowed to represent himself in court. the implication of that ruling. we continue to follow breaking news in tennessee, that inferno burning through the smokey mountain town of gatlinburg, forcing mass evacuations there. my business was built with passion... but i keep it growing by making every dollar count. that's why i have the spark cash card from capital one. with it, i earn unlimited 2% cash back on all of my purchasing.
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mandatory evacuation orders remain in place for gatlinburg and pigeon forge. roughly 1400 people have already been forced to flee that area. former north charleston police officer michael slager taking the stand in his own defense this morning. slater faces 30 years to life if convicted of murder for the fatal shooting of walter scott. that's the black motorist that was shot five times in the back as he ran during a traffic stop last year. and syrian government forces have recaptured key parts of the city of aleppo in what many describe as the heaviest bombing in the city. heaviest bombing in the city in syria's five year civil war. the united nations estimating 16,000 civilians have been displaced by the syrian government's latest advance. conservative estimates putting death toll close to 200, 250,000. the federal trial of dylan
roof, the accused killer of nine people in charleston, south carolina, in that charge laurch year in the second day of jury selection. granted roof's request to represent himself in the hate crimes. the decision raising the possibility that roof who had previously admitted to the shootings will be able to directly face survivors and victims' family members. chief legal correspondent ari melber with me now. what are the implications beyond this idea that this guy might be able to talk to the survivors of that church shooting? >> that, as you know, is a twist in this case that's significant. you were down there covering this. a lot of people came together, looked at this mass murder, this hate crime, this terror and feel a great antipathy towards this young man. imagine him cross examining them is dramatic but the real legal consequence is in representing
himself in such a complex capital case, he's far morexecu >> what might that mean for appeal? >> for an appeal, lawyers could allow he was wrong to allow him to represent himself, saying he wasn't competent but you don't have to be 100% sane to be found competent to represent yourself. just be able to understand the consequences of that decision and be able to make it knowing you're at risk. the judge told mr. roof, you're making your case harder by doing this. >> we're told the jury selection could take the better part of a month down there. what do we know about jurors examined so far or excused so far? >> they're basically trying to get down to a jury pool of 70 out of several hundred. close to 500 they're looking at. 12 jurors and several alternates. what you're doing is basically trying to make sure they have no obvious bias and willing to approach it in an open mind and
a capital case, you have to confirm that they are not so opposed to the death penalty in general that they wouldn't be open to applying it here in this case and what we know from early indications is that mr. roof having taken this dramatic step of representing himself is not participating much in the questioning of those jurors and i should note he does have legal advisors. i've said this before, trying to do your own defense is like trying to do surgery on yourself. it's dangerous even if you were a doctor or knew what you were doing. when people do it without legal training, he doesn't know the first thing to ask or how to launch an objection or anything else. he hasn't been active in the questioning of those jurors yet. >> it was interesting yesterday. asked him whether he wanted cocounsel to sit next to him or behind him. he said, next to him. before i let you go, the latest tweet from the president-elect, this is one in which he says no one should be allowed to burn
the american flag. if they do, they should perhaps lose their citizenship or a year in jail. what do you make of that. flag burning, can it be made illegal? >> you have someone the incoming head of the federal government speaking about two consequences here that we know are unconstitutional. the supreme court has long said that flag burning in most cases is a protected right. justice scalia a part of that decision, whether you like it or not, this is speech. we basically have a right to speech and expression in this country and number two, you have the incoming head of the federal government talking about stripping people of their citizenship. i don't care where he says it, on a tweet or a speech. the point is that content, not the medium. and the content should be concerning as a matter of freedom and constitutional law and that is completely apart and separate whether he's trying to distract us.
he should know these are unconstitutional things that he is blithely referring to. if he doesn't, he should be made aware and up to the congress, the courts, the press, the public to deal with this. >> our chief legal correspondent, ari melber, thanks as always, sir. we are going to talk with jill stein here in just a bit. jill stein, of course, the green party candidate who launched the recount effort in three states. i asked her, very simply. why? ♪
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a recount is expected to start later this week in wisconsin. how they will count the votes again though remains in question. green party candidate jill stein behind that recount effort now suing for a hand recount and expected in michigan soon where the race is razor thin. i talked to the green party's presidential nominee just a few
moments ago. >> you have said that we will never know if there was voter fraud or a massive systemic failure in the system unless we recount the votes. you know that a judge would never issue a search warrant without probable cause. why should this massive effort go forward? >> these are fundamentally different things. the requirement for search warrants is about protecting civil liberties. votes are something we're entitled to, as voters, we have a right to be confident in our voting system and this really should be automatic. we shouldn't have to go to these extraordinary lengths to raise millions of dollars to jump through incredible administrative hoops to even assure the public that we can trust these votes. that they're accurate. >> you said yourself there's been no evidence of voter fraud. if there's been no widespread evidence, why this effort?
>> let me separate voter fraud which is usually referred to as people voting who are not registered voters. people voting illegally. the fraud on the part of the voters. we're not looking at fraud on the part of the voters but mistakes in voting machines known to make errors and miscount the votes. they've been declared illegal. some of the machines used in wisconsin have been declared illegal in california because they're basically wide open to mistakes. >> we should. >> other states are in the process of doing that as well so we want to have confidence. >> we should note -- we should note that nbc's own vote watch program found no credible or widespread evidence of any machines malfunctioning, any changing of votes either. i think we should just note that for the purposes of our conversation. we should also note this. the margin in wisconsin between
donald trump and hillary clinton, that margin right now about 22,000 votes. you received roughly 31,000 votes in that state. what do you think the outcome might have been had you decided not to run? >> most green voters would not have voted and a substantial portion, one-third, would have voted for donald trump. unfortunately, the numbers are very clear that absent my campaign, the results would have been absolutely no different. it would not have changed the outcome in any state. that's very clear. we are not the spoilers, but leading the effort here to be sure that we did not have a spoiled election, there were not errors, that there was not tampering and this is not a movement being started by me or the green party. all we did was put out a press release and open up a web page and it took off by itself. >> you raised $6.5 million at
last check according to your web site, $6.5 million of the $7 million you need to conduct these recounts. what's in this for you personally? how much of this is being driven by ego? >> so, let me say, i've always been committed to ensuring that we can trust our voting system and to fixing the grievous problems. i'm practicing political medicine because it's the mother of all illnesses, to tell you the truth. what's in it for me is a world to survive in and our kids are not locked into debt forever. >> how does this advance any of those efforts? >> because we cannot get the policies that we need and we deserve if we cannot vote in a system that actually records our intentions. we must have a, we must have confidence in our votes in order to impact policy. you know, donald trump talked
about a rigged election system and he got enormous resonance with that. >> but there has been no evidence that any of it is rigged. >> we, the voters, we, the people subject to this economy, the offshoring of our jobs, to the skyrocketing of health care feel like the system is not working for us. we don't need to be convinced. people have contributed small donations. over 140,000 people came out of the woodwork here in order to move this forward. we have to start somewhere. by reclaiming this promise of democracy and we're going to start by ensuring that we have a voting system that we can trust. >> jill stein, green party nominee for president. jill, thank you so much for your time. keep us posted on your efforts. >> will do. good to talk with you. host of the hugh hewitt show. good to see you, my friend. thanks for coming on.
>> happy giving tuesday to you. good to be back. >> we'll talk about giving tuesday in a moment. thank you for that. let's start with jill stein. your reaction to the recount efforts. >> it's a scam and on giving tuesday, $6.5 million could do for the salvation army or the semper fi fund or a number of organizations, it could do so much good and instead, it's built out of people in a non-existent controversy to build a list for an irritant party that probably cross hillary clinton, and upset with her but i hate the waste. i think it's scam and ought to be called a scam. >> tom price, i saw on the twitter yesterday. you are a fan of the congressman getting the nod at hhs. he does actually have a plan on paper to replace and repeal obamacare. among the other things, it would
cancel the medicaid expansion. it would allow insurers to cross statelines and states could be penalized for preexisting conditions. how do you think his nomination will sit with people who need health coverage but by no fault of their own have cancer or heart condition or some other preexisting condition? >> i think price will be confirmed by an overwhelming margin including a number of democrats. he's a nearly perfect nominee. i've known for a long time. the only thing going against him, undergraduate and med school. he's going to be wrong at least once a year when bucs beat the wolverines and thought about this a lot. helped it get started and there are controversial spots to the proposal but a legislative proposal is only where you begin. and what we have in soon to be secretary of hhs price, someone who will overhaul the food and drug administration, someone who will look at the vast array of
programs under hhs but really attack the obamacare meltdown from the perspective of a provider who cares about the patience and the doctor and his point of view will persuade a lot of democrats, i think, the come forward. i've already heard the president-elect say, maybe we keep the preexisting conditions. >> 60 minutes. >> so it's going to be a negotiation but dr. price and congressman price, about the perfect person to lead that when the president-elect sends someone up to the hill to have those conversations. >> let me ask you about the president-elect and what he tweeted earlier this morning. folks who burn the american flag should perhaps be put in jail or lose citizenship. we heard from our chief legal correspondent who did note the supreme court has said that flag burning is protected by the first amendment. justice scalia himself. why can he tweet out stuff like this? guy hasn't had a news conference in about five months. he's not taking questions from
reporters anymore. in front of a podium. and again, there was word last week, stopped on to the classified national security briefings as well. >> let's take the tweet in two parts. about johnson, texas. have v. johnson, it was narrowly overturning the statute in 1989. it was a respectable minority point of view we thought to have a special category for the united states flag. among the dissenters, the liberal john paul, bronze star recipient and medal of honor, bob carie denounced flag burning statutes and it's an interesting and long conversation about whether or not there ought to be a category when it comes to flags. if not, a disreputable point of view to agree on it.
almost certainly constitutional. i just never use never. it's probably never constitutional to take someone's citizenship away for any reason but almost certainly constitutional. what did he do? started the conversation. i don't know why he came today. it's an interesting one. it's not an open and shut book but not what i'd be talking about. i'd talk about tom price. treasury. >> we haven't confirmed that yet. >> ah. >> we'll talk about giving tuesday now. how these simple blankets are helping thousands of children battling terrible diseases. it's part of our giving tuesday series. when it comes to healthcare, seconds can mean the difference between life and death. for partners in health, time is life. we have 18,000 people around the world. the microsoft cloud helps our entire staff stay connected and work together in real time to help those that need it. the ability to collaborate
changes how we work. what we do together changes how we live. the medicare enrollment deadline is just a few days away. changes to medicare plans could impact your healthcare costs. are you getting all the benefits available to you? call healthmarkets and we'll help you find the medicare plan that's right for you. hi, i'm doctor [martin gizzi.] it's a new medicare year. that means more changes ... and more confusion. the key question is: what can you do now, to ensure you get the care you need in the coming year? call healthmarkets today. we have access to thousands of medicare options from leading insurance companies nationwide. plans that may... cost less... cover more ... with more choices... like dental and vision care ... and freedom to choose your own doctors all at a price you can afford. we help find the right plan for you. and we do it at no cost. make sure you have what you need to get the care that's right for you. if you miss the deadline, you may have to wait
today's giving tuesday. a day that started four years ago to remind folks to take time to think about charitable works and donations amid the hustle and bustle of the busy holiday shopping season. this morning, we're talking about a non-profit charity called binkies for comfort. >> thank you for having us. >> for folks not familiar with binkeez, what is it? >> it's a platinum accredited 501c3 non-profit. for the bravest of children here in the united states that are facing a life-threatening illness in the hospice or hospice care. that started as my mother's hard
work. made for children in third world countries and four years ago, i walked away from my career in law and my paycheck and converted our baby blankie business to give the gift of health. >> we came to know you a few years ago, me and my family. we lost a niece. my niece jazmine, hard to believe, it was 3.5 years ago now. there she is. there's jasmine. she had a rare form of pediatric cancer. sarcoma. died at 3. and you were there to let us know about other families in similar situations. the reaction from families, from children when you walk in with these blankets, what is that? >> for the children, to have something that is soft and that they feel safe, it's scary being away from home and for them to feel safe is the greatest gift we can give them as well as comfort and for the mom and dads to see their children have
moments of peace, that time resting will help with their healing. and what binkeez is, a blanket but our organization is a conscious and deliberate act of love that's expressed through these blankets that are sacred. they're made by our volunteers back in boston who i can't do this without, they're an amazing group of hearts. >> this is my favorite. >> that's the jasmine. >> they're so soft too. you're doing god's work. thank you for doing it. >> thank you so much. i know you are going down to st. jude's. >> thank you so much. >> if you would like to learn more, buybinkeez.com and put it on twitter and facebook too.
concerning the dangerous wildfires burning near popular tourist areas in the foothills of the great smokey mountains. just a short time ago, governor bill haslem tweeted he's sending in the national guard. tourists fleeing gatlinburg and pigeon forge. 14,000 fled. gatlinburg alone. this video taken last night by an evacuee. the flames looking like lava in this video. state troopers posted pictures of them taking pictures who were trapped by the flames. emergency management officials say four people injured. no reports of fatalties but hundreds of structures throughout the area have been damaged or destroyed by the wildfires. the situation is so dangerous, at one point, guests were trapped inside a hilton hotel surrounded by flames, too close for them to leave. the flames are